Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trump's Presidency and White Evangelical and Catholic Voters: "Trumpism Is Basically a Religion at This Point"

Things I've read today that I'd like to share with you:

Tara Isabella Burton, "The age of white Christian America is ending. Here's how it got there": 

How can a religion often defined as a religion of outsiders — one whose sacred texts embrace the overturning of the money changers in the Jerusalem temple and celebrate those who leave their families behind to follow a wandering preacher — ever function in a dominant paradigm without losing its distinctive character? 
It is that question that Jones's book leaves us wondering: whether the death of White Christian America, as a cultural construct, is a good thing for Christianity, the religion. For a religion that was once subversive, Jones hints, being countercultural may just be the ideal way to be.

Fred Clark, "Shaking the dust off their feet": 

Why should we seek the living among the dead? Let the dead bury their dead. 
Come forth. It's time.

Patti Miller responds to the preceding tweet from Catholic Democrats:

Rev. William Barber, "Now Is The Time For Prophetic Moral Action": 

The extremists who have taken over the Republican Party and are wielding power in Washington, D.C. are determined to take healthcare away from millions of Americans and transfer wealth to the greedy. This is not conservative public policy. It is what the Bible calls "sin," and the fact that McConnell, Pence, and Ryan claim to be doing it in the name of their Christian values is the height of hypocrisy. 
The language of left versus right is far too puny to describe the moral stakes of this death bill. The proposed deconstruction of Medicaid may be the largest transfer of wealth away from the poor since the labor of enslaved Africans was stolen with federal protection. Claiming to be “pro-life” while actively working to take health care from 22 million working poor people is hypocrisy and sin. 
To do this knowing that people will die is a form of political violence and political murder. It is hypocrisy, and it is sin.

Tim Teeman, "Tony Kushner: Why I’m Writing a Play About Donald Trump":

The main problem is how our country can give such power to a madman and crazy person; how a country commits political suicide—and I don’t think analogies to Hitler are misplaced in that regard. 
For 40 years the Republican Party has said that government is evil and greed is good, that history is of no interest, and courted white supremacy. The result of the election was the expression of what they want, and it showed a majority of white evangelicals did not care about the behavior of a president that doesn't seem that Christian. Donald Trump is the antithesis of everything Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount.

Sunnivie Brydum and Joshua Lazard, "The Southern Baptists' 'All Lives Matter' Approach to Racial Reconciliation Is Spiritual Malpractice":

It doesn't take much digging to uncover the questionable roots of this "All Lives Matter" approach to condemning "racial bias" in the SBC. An active thread discussing "Southern Baptists and the Alt-Right" on SBC Voices features a cacophony of white people (including high-profile white pastors affiliated with SBC) claiming that the true racial scourge in America is "skin color supremacy." If that phrase sounds odd, it should. Academic literature featuring that phrase is nearly non-existent, save for discussions of colorism that generally refer to hierarchies constructed within communities of color that tend to privilege black and brown people with less melanin in their skin, and hence greater "passing privilege" as white. 
Indeed, it's the epitome of white privilege to think that a broad, non-binding resolution against "racism in all its forms" could possibly begin to heal the wounds inflicted by the systemic, violent oppression of people of color since the first settlers colonized this land. Claiming an opposition to "skin color supremacy" pointedly erases the role white people, white supremacy, and Christian ideology (not to mention evangelicalism) have played in centuries of mass murder, subjugation, and cultural genocide inflicted on people who do not fit whatever is determined at the moment to be the contemporary standard of acceptable whiteness.

Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, "Religious Leaders Keep Getting Arrested at the Nation's Capitol — and It Is Glorious": 

These faith leaders understand that, even as some are celebrating after the apparent collapse of the GOP Healthcare Bill, this is just one day in a long campaign connecting many different issues that include health care, voter suppression and the proposed budget. The Rev. William Barber, speaking from outside the office of Mitch McConnell explained: 
"Some of us were here last week, some of us are here this week. We are not here as Democrats, we are not here as Republicans, we are here as prophetic voices standing on the shoulders of those before us, and we will not stand down. We're not going anywhere."

Jack Jenkins, "The Religious Left is getting under right-wing media's skin":  

[R]oughly six months into Trump's presidency, the groundswell of progressive faith activism has yet to subside, and conservatives are taking notice — and getting nervous. More specifically, they appear to be going out of their way to condemn, discredit, and explain away the Religious Left.

John Fea, "Trump threatens to change the course of American Christianity": 

His campaign and presidency has shed light on a troubling wing of American evangelicalism willing to embrace nationalism, populism, fear of outsiders and anger. The leaders of this wing trade their evangelical witness for a mess of political pottage and a Supreme Court nomination. 
Not all evangelicals are on board, of course. Most black evangelicals are horrified by Trump's failure to understand their history and his willingness to serve as a hero of the alt-right movement. 
The 20 percent of white evangelicals who did not vote for Trump — many of whom are conservative politically and theologically — now seem to have a lot more in common with mainline Protestants. Some in my own circles have expressed a desire to leave their evangelical churches in search of a more authentic form of Christianity. 
Other evangelicals are experiencing a crisis of faith as they look around in their white congregations on Sunday morning and realize that so many fellow Christians were willing to turn a blind eye to all that Trump represents. 
If the court evangelicals were students of history, they have learned the wrong lesson from evangelical political engagement of the 1970s and 1980s. Trump's presidency — with its tweets and promises of power — requires evangelical leaders to speak truth to power, not to be seduced by it.

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